Delving into the Intangibles

   Trust and confidence  
  Would you lend money to an untrustworthy person?
Would you sign an employment contract with someone you don’t trust?
Would you have confidence in an unreliable person as a partner?
Would you continue to be a good friend of such a person?

Everyday we are living our lives questioning ourselves along these lines. The good heart of people we believed in until yesterday can change today, and our relationship collapse instantly, whether it is with a family member or others. Little wonder such things happen; even my own heart wavers and changes like the four seasons.

Everyone experiences trouble and stress dealing with the “trust / confidence” problem. Since, as I believe, it would be no exaggeration to say 80% of suffering in life results from this, we must at all costs find a way to alleviate the mental blow.

Most people confuse trust with confidence. Certainly the two things have something in common. Trust and confidence are born when relationships form. Starting from an indeterminate state, with no guarantees and many risks, you build high expectations and seek outstanding results. But if you consider the two words separately, you are more likely to better appreciate the actual meaning of each.

Trust is more an official or public condition, like a tangible relationship, whereas
confidence is an emotional and private state of mind, i.e., intangible.

"What is trust?"
The term is often used in our public relationships, such as money matters, employment contracts and sales transactions. In order to make a relationship with the other party clear and transparent, on paper, a contract or certificate, an agreement in writing, is created with a deadline and conditions to be met without fail. Where do our emotions come into this? When problems arise, public institutions such as courts, the police, fair trade tribunals, labor standards offices, lawyers, administrative scriveners et cetera are expected to resolve the questions in dispute. If you meet your obligations as prescribed on paper, the relationship is fulfilled. It is a “cool” relationship once completed.

We should be prudent enough to retain tangible documents such as registry certificates, contracts, insurance policies, wills, licenses, passports, seal stamp certificates until their valid dates have expired.

Preoccupied with the demands of everyday life, how often do people end up desperately searching for documents when they suddenly become necessary? Even if hubby knows their whereabouts, it becomes a problem if his wife does not know.

Some newly married couples today even include in their marriage contracts commitments to “take in and care for wife/husband’s parents", or to “lose 10 kilograms of weight each” and so on. It is very young and humorous, is not it?

"What is confidence?"
Human emotions and thought are involved, but there is no timeframe. You rely on and believe in the other person’s mind and heart, and there are no conditions or qualifications. It is truly an intangible relationship. Most human relationships are based on family connections, friendship or collegiality, and such close relationships are intimate and emotive rather than “cool”.

There is a wise proverb, “Yesterday’s friend is today’s enemy”. While a relationship of this type prospers, positive feelings such as happiness, security, hope, satisfaction and dreams overflow; once it collapses, however, it quickly burns and turns black. This causes considerable mental and physical damage, and the recovery process, often involving separation, breaking off, disappointment, resentment et cetera, is not easy. Sometimes you feel beyond hope of recovery. We must build delicate relationships, as fragile as a spider's fragile web that might to be broken at any time, applying our best efforts and understanding. Like the dog Hachiko whose statue sits outside Shibuya Station in Tokyo, a legendary model of fidelity, I want to trust my late husband unconditionally and teach my heart to keep on longing for him until the day I die. 

It is good to know that nothing stands between our closest relationships with people: no money contracts are needed. Rather, you learn "what you do" and "how it should be" from a lifetime of living.